Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

December 30, 2002 University of Washington, In mutually beneficial relationship, slowest-evolving species gains upper hand
When species coevolve, the one that adapts slower effectively commits and may be better off.
December 24, 2002 Reality News Online, Is the key to Survivor in 'non-cooperative games'?
Discusses how the reality TV show's many strategic challenges can be analyzed with game theory.
December 19, 2002 The Economist, Nomadism in Mongolia
Collective herding in Mongolia suffers the tragedy of the commons as some leaders call for privatization.
December 17, 2002 Cato Institute, Why the United States should not attack Iraq
Argues that Saddam Hussein is rational and deterrence may be achieved through credible commitment.
December 13, 2002 University of Minnesota , Nomadism in Mongolia
Blue Jays trained to play the prisoner's dilemma appear to adopt a tit-for-tat strategy, leading to cooperation.
December 6, 2002 Disinformation, The art of mega deals
Rupert Murdoch's success in business is partly the result of "understanding how game theory shaped deal negotiations and inter-firm competition" (by Alex Burns)
December 1, 2002, Will filters kill spam?
Describes a Bayesian approach to filtering spam from users' mailboxes.
November 29, 2002 St. Petersburg Times, Whom do drug benefit managers help?
Suggests that a Medicare prescription benefit would result in financial troubles due to adverse selection.
November 26, 2002 United Press International, The bear's lair: Unnatural monopolies
The Federal Reserve's stimulus policies present a moral hazard.
November 19, 2002 MSNBC, Capitol Hill's last-minute maneuvers
The game of adding pork to important legislation through bill riders represents a political game of chicken.
November 18, 2002 Toronto Star, Why paper and scissors rock
Hundreds of competitors at the World Rock Paper Scissors Society add a heuristic approach to mixed strategies.
November 18, 2002 Seattle Times, Data-storage field learning to cooperate
Compatibility of hardware and software is a prisoner's dilemma, resolved by the adoption of standards.
November 17, 2002 San Francisco Chronicle, Key Enron energy trader excelled at power game
Timothy Belden, at the center of the Enron scandal, studied game theory at Berkeley.
November 15, 2002 Miami Herald, Nash of 'A Beautiful Mind' fame testifies in Benlate case
John Nash acts as expert witness in support of game theory in the court room.
November 8, 2002 Chronicle of Higher Education, Calculus of the battlefield
Describes at length research noting that deterrence in international relations requires fending off only select attacks.
November 5, 2002 New York Times, Departing Chief Says I.R.S. Is Losing War on Tax Cheats
Auditing tax payers requires mixed strategies but greater enforcement costs require proportionally greater funding.
November 4, 2002 Poker Mag, The truth about poker players
Short commentary argues most poker players decide on a whim, not optimal mixed strategies.
November 2, 2002 Science News, Election Selection: Are we using the worst voting procedure?
Discusses different voting systems and how the outcomes depend greatly on the specific rules employed.
October 31, 2002 ESPN, Fourth-down analysis met with skepticism
Paul Romer's findins that teams should punt less often given the odds criticized by professional coaches.
October 31, 2002 Economist, NP or not NP?
Tetris, the addictive computer game, is not only hard, it is NP-complete.
October 31, 2002 Government Computer News, U.S. should fund R&D for secure Internet protocols
Since security is a public good, developing secure protocols is a tragedy of the commons. (by William Jackson)
October 31, 2002 The Economist, Setting the trap
Applauds U.S.-style antitrust laws that provide immunity to cartel members who come forward as a "clever use of game theory" creating a race to cooperate.
October 25, 2002 Harvard Crimson, Philosopher attacks self-interest
Philosopher offers resolution to prisoner's dilemma relying on the establishment of "social identities."
October 24, 2002 The Independent, Fishing industry falls victim to the tragedy of the commons
Global overfishing and a dwindling supply of fish the result of a tragedy of the commons.
October 23, 2002 Slate, Should we pay off the sniper?
Payoffs may encourage copy-cats, a moral hazard but may be worth considering if the threat is sufficiently credible
October 22, 2002 Daily Trojan (USC), Exorcising the ghosts of American foreign policy
Argues Kissinger's foreign policy based on zero-sum game theory.
October 22, 2002 Daily Hampshire Gazette, 'Game theory': excuse for anything
Local columnist blames the field of game theory for the existence of unethical behavior.
October 20, 2002 Gambling Magazine, Game and probability theories may suggest different strategies
Applies minimax solution concepts to zero-sum casino games.
October 19, 2002 BBC News, Coffee cartel shuts up shop
Association of Coffee Producing Countries fails to maintain prices and cooperation, abandons collusion.
October 18, 2002 Slate, Conspiracy at State College
Joe Paterno's seeming irrationality may be commitment device to instill fear in officials.
October 11, 2002 Business Week, Nobel laurels for an odd couple
Nobel prize awarded for pioneering work in experimental economics and behavioral game theory.
October 10, 2002 Washington Post, Two Americans to share Nobel Prize in economics
Nobel prize awarded for pioneering work in experimental economics and behavioral game theory.
October 9, 2002 Slate, TiVo, we hardly knew ye
The demise of the digital video technology demonstrates the first mover disadvantage in technology.
October 1, 2002 Asia Times, OPEC in the line of fire
The repeated prisoner's dilemma of OPEC cooperation is unstable.
October 1, 2002 Dr. Dobb's Journal, The science of complexity
Provides algorithms for modeling complexity: boundedly rational agents playing repeated congestion games
October 1, 2002 Physics World, Let the quantum games begin
Quantum computing holds a solution to the prisoner's dilemma and other games, physicists show. (by Chiu Fan Lee and Neil F Johnson)
September 20, 2002 United Press International, Experts chip away at Medicare drug plans
Prescription drug coverage proposals face adverse selection problems as healthy less likely to sign on.
September 9, 2002 The Guardian, Terror training
Alan Dershowitz argues that a credible commitment not to negotiate with terrorists decreases terrorist attacks.
August 31, 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Union keeps Midwest Express guessing
Union uses mixed strategies in threatening slowdowns to gain upper hand in negotation
August 29, 2002 New York Times, When economics shifts from science to engineering
Economists design market mechanisms including auctions and the National Resident Matching Program.
August 19, 2002 SF Gate, Cal prof says teams should go for it more often on fourth down
American football coaches should punt less often, given the odds.
August 9, 2002 The Independent, IMF's $30bn bailout for Brazil sends lenders the wrong signal
International monetary fund bail-outs cause moral hazard, bad investments (by Philip Thornton)
August 1, 2002 Discover, The Mathematics of... Auctions: Going Once, Going Twice
Overbidding in auctions and quantal response equilibria.
August 1, 2002 New York Times, In an Ancient Game, Computing's Future
The game of Go is deceptively simple to learn but challenging for even a computer to play.
July 31, 2002 Wired, Game theory for real people
Argues for interdisciplinary approaches to game theory to replace rational paradigms.
July 30, 2002 Forbes, How to salvage stock options
How stock option bonuses can align incentives of shareholders and executives.
July 30, 2002 Miami Herald, Market decline reveals hazards
Stock options create a moral hazard, incentives for short-term stock price spikes.
July 30, 2002 Financial Times, In search of self-interest
Considers whether historical figures in politics and business satisfy the assumptions of homo economicus, and notes that the definition is quite similar to that of a sociopath. (by John Kay)
July 29, 2002 InfoWorld, Incentive Systems announces name change, new EIM suite
Discusses the rising business of software for managing incentive pay of sales forces.
July 25, 2002 Fox News, Living Together Before Marriage May Hurt Chances of Staying Together
Explores the commitment of marriage and its higher success rate than cohabitation.
July 23, 2002 New York Times, Why We're So Nice: We're Wired to Cooperate
Psychiatrists note that cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma is part of innate altruism.
July 18, 2002 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Why cooperate? It's a pleasure, says Emory study
Psychiatrists note that cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma is part of innate altruism.
July 1, 2002 Risk & Insurance, Terrorism Insurance: Where's the Coverage?
Terrorists' strategic response to new defenses must be considered in formulating policy and estimating risk.
June 27, 2002 Economist, Bidding adieu?
Examines the role of the winner's curse in auctions for cell phones and IPOs.
June 12, 2002 Nature, We're doomed to dither
Describes simulations of the minority game, a congestion game in which one prefers not to be part of the crowd.
June 1, 2002 Natural History, Cheaters and chumps
Discusses game theory's contribution to evolutionary cooperation, noting the role of anonymity, repeated play, and kinship.
May 11, 2002 New Scientist, Natural born killers
Can sucide bombers be explained as hawks among doves ? An evolutionary psychology viewpoint.
May 1, 2002 Dollar & Sense, What can radicals learn from game theory?
An introduction to social struggle as a prisoner's dilemma in which the role of government is to devise the right game to be played. (by Alejandro Reuss)
May 1, 2002 Scientific American, When markets go mad
Econophysics tries to explain market movement melding adaptive systems resarch with behavioral game theory.
May 2002 Wired, Winner's Curse: The 3G auctions were the last party of an old regime
Argues for an unregulated radio spectrum, without auctions distributing licenses for cell phones. (by Chris Anderson)
April 8, 2002 Wall Street Journal, Can the risk of terrorism be calculated by insurers?
Understanding the mixed strategy game of target selection and defense helps quantify risk.
April 8, 2002 Roanoke Times, Ensuring discrimination
Considers the relationship between credit histories and moral hazard in the insurance industry. (by Reginald Shareef)
April 3, 2002 Nature, Physicists play by quantum rules
Quantum computing holds a solution to the prisoner's dilemma, physicists show.
April 1, 2002 Entrepeneur Magazine, The Art of (Price) War
Price wars are often not sustainable and value-pricing may be a better proposition.
March 25, 2002, The Fed and Moral Hazard: have the nuts taken over the asylum?
Argues that the Federal Reserve's economy-bolstering actions create a moral hazard.
March 22, 2002 Video Business, A Game of Chicken
Movie studios and movie rental stores are embroiled in a game of chicken according to executives.
March 18, 2002 InformationWeek, Playing The Nonzero-Sum Game March
Globalization has transformed relationships into non-zero sum games
March 18, 2002 Business Week, Game theory's hidden holes
Disequilibrium play in the traveler's dilemma and games with mixed strategies
March 16, 2002 ABC News, FTC Files Drug Co. Complaint
Generic drug makes paid not to produce generics in cooperation among pharmaceutical manufacturers.
March 6, 2002 New Scientist, Maths picks moment for soccer super subs
Soccer coaches substitute players too late in the game according to new mathematical models.
March 2002 Beacon Hill NewsLink, Summer's here! Let the Hollywood games begin
How movie studios signal the dates of movie releases to avoid heavy competition.
February 25, 2002 Christian Science Monitor, Partisan 'game of chicken' over jobless benefits, tax cuts
In an election year, which party will blink first in game of chicken over tax cuts and benefits?
February 9, 2002 CNet, Partners today, rivals tomorrow
Notes the need to consider strategic moves by current partners, including post-contractual hold up and moral hazard.
January 23, 2002 ZDNet, PGP creator: Snooping must be curbed
Encryption: the web is a one-shot, not an iterated prisoner's dilemma
January 23, 2002 HealthScoutNews, Study Reinforces Power of the Golden Rule
The tragedy of the commons may be resolved through indirect reciprocity.
January 11, 2002 Poker Digest, How winning and losing alters our perceptions of risk
Applications of Thaler's research on risk tolerance and rationality to poker
January 10, 2002 Texas A&M University, Social Interactions May Be Traced Back To Carnivorous Behavior
Cooperative hunting and meat-sharing analyzed as a cooperative game and a negotiation.
January 10, 2002 Nature, Homo Reciprocans
Human altruistic tendencies result in punishing free-riders, potentially resolving the tragedy of the commons. (by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis)
January 5, 2002 The Diamond Angle, The winner's curse
Baseball players are like oil wells, in that poor bidding strategy for either leads to the winner's curse. (by David Marasco)
January 4, 2002 New Scientist, Euro coin accused of unfair flipping
Lack of uniformity across European Euro coins leads to different odds of heads and tails in different countries. (by Debora MacKenzie)
January 3, 2002 Business World, Who will blink first in German telecoms poker?
German auction for new-generation mobile licenses
January 3, 2002 Nature, The physics of the trading floor
Physicists argue that irrationality leads to exploitable patterns in the stock market. (by Mark Buchanan)
2002 Bangkok Post, Four-year timeframe looks likely
Deposit insurance agency may introduce moral hazard by charging the same premiums from all institutions regardless of risk.